Monday, 20 February 2012

The Kite Runner - Chapter 16

What Happens
  • Rahim Khan tells the story that surrounds Hassan after Amir and Baba emigrate to America
  • We learn that Hassan has a son
  • Told briefly about the Taliban 

Chapter 16 marks a brief change in narration from Amir to Rahim Khan, this has several implications on the way in which the chapter is told. Several details about Hassan are learnt throughout the chapter, showing how Amir has neglected his greatest childhood friend in a selfish act of distancing. The revelation that Hassan has a son puts the events of the past into the present, effecting events that happen beyond the end of the chapter and shows the psychological transition which Amir has to undergo. This transition is typical of the Bildungsroman genre.    

The chapter acts as a self contained story told through a very different perspective than the previous chapters, giving a first hand account of the suffering and loss that Amir has been trying to "bury". Through Khan's story Amir is instantly submerged in the events of his past and left contemplating the events of his future, although as the chapter is ultimately told by Khan, it is up to the readers imagination to interpret Amir's reaction as the narration does not allow for interruptions. Furthermore the first hand account acts as a gentle introduction to a war savaged Afghanistan, with references to the famine and the Taliban.

The account also remains bespoke around Amir's past, with Khan reminding Amir about, "what a good kite runner Hassan was", and mentioning how, "they would hand the kites they ran all winter on the walls". Hassan's fate is still ambiguous at the end of the chapter, with Hosseni adopting a show not tell mentality, leaving the chapter on a suspense filled anticlimax.

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